This paper describes the nematode control strategy adopted by a Scottish hill sheep farmer. It provides an example of the limited use of anthelmintic drugs, targeted towards control of the periparturient rise in faecal nematode egg output in ewes and exploitation of grazing management, resulting in limited exposure of naive sheep to infective larvae on pasture. Resistance to benzimidazole, imidazothiazole and macrocyclic lactone anthelmintics, and to a combination of a macrocyclic lactone and imidazothiazole anthelmintic drugs was diagnosed. The targeted use of a persistent anthelmintic drug to control a periparturient rise in faecal nematode egg output in ewes may be unnecessary and selects strongly for resistance when the reservoir of anthelmintic-susceptible nematodes in refugia is small at the time of treatment. However, the use of a persistent anthelmintic drug in a selective proportion of ewes can be important and probably does not select strongly for resistance when the reservoir of anthelmintic-susceptible nematodes in refugia is large at the time of treatment. The former circumstances might arise on many Scottish hill sheep farms, whereas the latter may occur on upland and lowground farms, depending on previous grazing management, anthelmintic use and winter weather conditions. These factors must be taken into account when preparing sustainable health plans for nematode parasite control in individual sheep flocks.
- British Veterinary Association
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Provenance not commissioned; externally peer reviewed